An early-morning fire claimed the lives of 13 horses after a barn caught fire under suspicious conditions. The incident took firefighters from multiple departments to extinguish. The barn, used for equine learning is located in the 3200 block of Timpson Avenue SE . The fire is reported to have started shortly after 2 a.m.
Authorities stated the fire was suspicious because things were out of place on the property and the barn doors were chained and locked from the inside. Reports from firemen who were on the scene indicated that getting water to the barn was difficult because the barn was nearly one mile from any hydrants. As a result, firefighters were forced to shuttle water up the driveway.
The Lowell Fire Department indicated that the investigation has been taken over by the Michigan State Police. The cause of the fire is suspicious in nature after the property owners notified fire personnel at the scene of several anomalies with the condition of the barn and surrounding property.
The owners of the barn wrote on Facebook that the information surrounding the incident was hard to process, adding that it fealt like a bad dream. The owners also revealed that they did not know how the road to rebuilding the property would look like. Firefighters used a total of 23,000 gallons of water to fight the blaze.
Authorities are still trying to establish the cause of the fire. The owner revealed that upon arrival she knew that the horses had suffocated from smoke. Only two horses survived the incident because they were being kept in a separate smaller barn. Thirteen of the 15 horses at the farm were killed in the fire.
The horses were used for equine therapy and for community outreach programs with underprivileged children. The owner said that the horses were more than friends, adding that they were part of the family.
She also indicated that they served as community servants and colleagues reaching so many kids - giving them their first rides and first therapy so they could open up. After the investigation is finished, Walton says they're going to hold a memorial for the 13 horses lost to help bring them closure. The farm has created A Go Fund Me page to help rebuild the farm.